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this is "world news." tonight, the pope resigns. the stunning announcement today from the vatican. why did pope benedict really say he is stepping down? and what does it mean for a billion catholics around the world? in ruins. a tornado roaring up the street. electrical wires dangling. the massive cleanup tonight in one american town. rescue. thousands of people stranded on a vacation cruise ship, cut off from the world. and the lifeboat on the way to try to help them tonight. and honor and valor. the emotional ceremony for a heroic soldier. the lesson he teaches about the american spirit. and an unlikely little star in a suit and tie.
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good evening on this monday night. a centuries old tradition has been shattered by a surprise. pope benedict, chosen to be pope for life, today announced he will resign, citing his failing strength and health. and the toll of his seven years, nine months and 24 days as pope etched on his face. there he was, as we saw him on day one. and now, much thinner, frailer. this is unchartered territory for 1 billion catholics around the world. no pope has resigned in 598 years. and it's happening just 48 hours before the holy season of lent begins. abc's jeffrey kofman is in rome with what we think happened. jeffrey? >> reporter: good evening, diane. it's as if an earthquake has hit
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the vatican. the lights are still on, but people here rocked by the surprise resignation of benedict xvi. it began as a routine vatican ceremony, but the pope's announcement in latin was anything but routine. "i have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the papal ministry." with that, for the first time in 600 years a pope is resigning. benedict xvi was already old, 78, when he became pope. that was 2005. here he is almost eight years later clearly frail and feeble. his older brother, father g ege rg ratzinger said today benedict is having trouble walking and had been advised by his doctors to stop traveling overseas. >> this came as a huge surprise to me and everyone in rome and
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everyone in the vatican. >> reporter: as a cardinal, joseph ratzinger was known as john paul ii's enforcer of religious doctrine. he did not like answering questions. here's brian ross asking him about a sexual abuse case in 2002. >> come to me when the moment is given. but not yet. >> reporter: it is almost eight years as pope, he would sometimes play the piano. he always wore his red shoes. but his passion was preaching the gospel. he never enjoyed being an administrator and he paid a price for that. his papacy will be remembered for its scandals. those endless sexual abuse coverups that cost more thbilli. during a financial scandal, tried and failed to clean up corruption. and the vatileaks scandal. a vatican back-stabbing in intrigue. he may have been the first pope to tweet, but as the leader, he tried to hold back the forces,
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refusing to expand the role of women. now, though, he is accepting the reality of the modern world. and the catholic church enters new territory. can the church cope with having an ex-pope alive while a new pope tripes to create his own legacy? >> this is the tremendous question that lies before us. there is no job description for a retired pope. >> reporter: so, benedict remains pope until the end of the month. the cardinal s have to assemble here for a conclave to elect his successor. that takes us to mid-march. that means a billion catholics around the world should have a new pope by easter. diane? >> all right, jeffrey, thank you. and, of course, that new pope will have to face the call for change, from many people in the american catholic church. there are 77.7 million catholics here in the united states. nearly 1 in 4 of us is catholic. and rhode island, new jersey and massachusetts still have the
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highest concentration of catholics but in sheer numbers, the biggest growth is among hispanics. and abc's cecilia vega spent the day gathering american reaction from all over. cecilia? >> reporter: good evening, diane. we're here at st. mary's cathedral in san francisco and we've been speaking with catholics all day long, and i will tell you, boy, the surprise does not even begin to describe the reaction here. at first, there was shock. so very early this morning, the pope announced that he is resigning. >> oh, really? oh, my god. >> reporter: and then, there were prayers. >> pray for our holy father, pope benedict xvi. >> reporter: for many american catholics a world away from the vatican, there is a devotion to a essential centuries old institution, but today meant hope for a modern beginning. from new york -- >> the church is a 2,000-plus-year-old institution that hasn't changed very much.
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and society is leaving the church way behind. >> reporter: to new orleans. >> i would like the catholic church to allow women to have the opportunity to become pleases. >> reporter: to chicago. >> they have to come to terms with the priest scandal. >> reporter: to san francisco. what do you want to see in the next pope? >> a more accepting pope. >> reporter: accepting of what? >> gay people. >> reporter: pope benedict may have taken a hard line against everything from gay marriage to abortion. the vatican recently went public with its criticismle of american nuns for being too progressive. >> the phrase that's been most thrown around in the media is radical feminist. >> reporter: and compared to their church, many american parishioners seem to have a softer stance on social issues. when it comes to whether abortion should be legal, nearly half of american catholics say yes. same thing for gay marriage. and on female priests? nearly 60% of american catholics say, let women join. but even with the new pope, how
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much change will there really be? >> it's an opportunity for the church to change, but it's not likely that the church will change. the college of cardinals is made up of men who have been appointed by either benedict or john paul ii. so, they're like-minded men. >> reporter: and american catholics make up the largest religious denomination in this country, but in believe if it wasn't for that immigration from latin america and asia, their numbers would be on the decline. so, will a new pope be able to change this course, diane? that is without a doubt the question on the minds of many of the faithful here this evening. >> certainly, cecilia. thank you so much. and earlier, i sat down with one of the biggest forces in american catholic life, from new york, cardinal timothy dolan. i began by asking him his reaction when he heard the news. >> i said, oh, my lord. was i ever shocked. >> help us understand this, because for hundreds of years, as you know -- >> 600, if i'm not mistaken. >> we have not seen this happen.
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and we know that pope john paul was very ill -- >> yes, he was. >> towards the end. so, why this unprecedent ed in modern times? >> we've known it's always been a possibility. they would ask about that, especially, like you mentioned in the days of blessed john paul ii. was it a probability, no. but now, the ice might be broken. and in the future, it might become not as startling. >> what happens when you have a former pope? >> i'm wondering myself. i'm wondering. we haven't been through this in 600 years. so, i think he's going -- let me get to my books, let me get back to my piano. he's going to be saying. let me concentrate on my writing. he's probably going to relish the transition. >> would you like to see an african? would you like to see a south american? >> yes. and i think those are very probable. to think that maybe, maybe the college of card nainals feel th holy spirit is directing them to choose from somewhere else, i think so. >> what are the odds of a north
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american? and you were asked, what about you? >> is this abc news or comedy central? you are -- >> what would you like to see this next pope be and do in order to be as inclusive as possible of the american church and the american views on these social issues? >> sure. >> there has to be fundamental change. >> the church is in the business of fundamental change, interiorly. so, when we speak about change in the church, yeah, there can be a change in style. there is certainly always going to be a change in heart, because conversion of heart is what we're about. but there can't be a tampering with the changeless teachings of the church. >> so much speculation, i know you've been reading the articles today that maybe his age and his health and just the burden of what the church has been through, with the scandals. >> yes. could have, yeah. >> was a factor. you think it was a factor? >> i would say, first of all, it's very difficult for anybody to appreciate the burden of the
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papacy. the pope has a billion souls that he thinks about and prays for every day. so, the demands of the papacy are very heavy. the horrible issue you talked about would have added to that sense of burden. >> keep remembering when he gave you the thumb's up? >> thanks, thanks. my mom remembers when he said that she looked too young to have a son a cardinal. she said, holy father, you are infallible. >> so, did you see this yet? have you seen these pictures today? >> no, what's this about? wow. is that not something? did you guys see this with the lightning? boy, oh, boy. a lot of pasta overcooked with this lightning strike going on. >> and we thank his eminence, cardinal timothy dolan. and now, we move onto the weather in this country and images familiar to many of us tonight. cars spinning their wheels,
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people digging out of the huge snowstorm on the east coast. in connecticut, as much as three feet of snow and 130,000 people in the northeast still without power. and in a town in mississippi, there are other americans digging through the remains of their homes. a powerful tornado tore straight through town. abc's steve osunsami is there. >> reporter: in hattiesburg, mississippi, they couldn't believe their eyes. seeing this giant tornado, nearly a mile wide, rolling up the street. >> there huge stuff falling out of the sky. >> reporter: brave residents and even braver photographers risked their lives getting these amazing pictures. look closely and see the power again, tearing through electrical transformers and lighting up the sky. >> people's lives being destroyed right now. >> reporter: two of those lives were johnny and johnice dupree. he's the city's mayor and is alive today because he hid in a closet. >> you know, i think god is testing us. >> reporter: across the street, the pittman brothers have no insurance and will lose the home
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that's been in their family for generations. so, your dad's ashes were -- >> they were in the front living room. >> reporter: did he die recently? >> yes sir, about two months ago. >> reporter: maybe he was watching over you guys. >> maybe so. he had to be, i know somebody was. >> reporter: and there's still more severe weather on the way. potentially heavy snow and bitter cold for much of the east by the week's end. steve osunsami, abc news, hattiesburg, mississippi. >> thank you, steve. and now an update for you on the manhunt in california for chris dorner, the former cop accused of targeting fellow police officers and their families. tonight, more than 700 tips have streamed in. there is still a $1 million reward and that is the biggest in lapd history. and we turn next to news that effects a lot of americans and the being financial decisions they make. a government report eight years in the making today says 40 million americans, 1 in 5, have a mistake on their credit report.
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more than 4 million americans endure mistakes so bad, their credit score is being lowered. and most of them don't even know it because they don't check the report. experts suggest cheque at least once a year on a free government website,, and reporting any errors of problems to credit bureau to get them fixed. and still ahead on "world news," a ship drifting aimlessly, 4,200 unhappy and uncomfortable vacationers on board. the rescue operation taking place tonight to get them ashore. that's next. [ coughs ] [ angry gibberish ] [ justin ] mulligan sir. mulligan. take a mulligan. i took something for my sinuses, but i still have this cough. [ male announcer ] truth is, a lot of sinus products don't treat cough. they don't? [ male announcer ] nope, but alka seltzer plus severe sinus does it treats your worst sinus symptoms, plus that annoying cough. [ angry gibberish ]
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[ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. great taste. mmm... [ male announcer ] sounds good. it's amazing what soup can do. at this moment, a rescue operation is under way for 4,200 people floating on a cruise ship the size of two football fields. they are drifting aimlessly after a fire killed the power yesterday morning. the ship was stranded 150 miles off the yucatan peninsula in mexico and abc's matt gutman is now with us to tell us what's being done to help the people on board. >> reporter: these are the first images of rescue efforts for the carnival "triump"triumph." the u.s. coast guard monitoring the ship floating dead in the water, 150 miles off the coast of mexico. >> it is adrift. they are operating on emergency power. they're currently in deep water and not near any hazzards no
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navigation. >> reporter: the ship even bigger than the titanic was bobbing like a 100,000 ton cork after a fire blew out its four engines. normally a sparkling city on the sea, but now conditions are turning horrendous. after 36 hours, garbage is piling up. no air conditioning. many toy lets not working. >> they have no running water, i mean, it's pitiful. >> reporter: brelt. 's wife is aboard. >> they are all crying and hysterical. they want tos go home. >> reporter: life boats from another ship brought food to the crippled "triumph." it's been plagued by engine problems on two of its previous journeys. the stack belched out this black smoke. and jay key posted this warning on facebook. "they have been risking people's lives for months." two years ago, another ship was crippled by an engine fire. the u.s. navy had to chopper in
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70,000 pounds of supplies. just moments ago, that first tug reached the stricken boat, but it will take a full three days to haul that ship back to land. not much of a vacation for those aboard, but carnival says it is reimburse all the passengers and give them a voucher for another free cruise, if they choose to take it. diane? >> all right, matt gutman reporting in from mexico tonight. and coming up, look closely. there are imposters among these penguins. what are they doing? can you spot them? we'll show you in our "instant index." [ female announcer ] caltrate's done even more to move us.
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at the top of the "instant index" tonight, you'll remember her. well, the heart-stopping tumble she took last week. olympic gold medalist lindsey von. today, there is news. she tweeted out this picture from her hospital bed, recovers after surgery on her right knee, which was shredded, saying on facebook today, "success. surgery went very well. it's going to be a long and hard road back, but i will be back." and we're betting on the comeback kid. and for everyone who fell in love with the fleet-footed baby penguin doing the dance of joy -- ♪ take a look at this. those are real penguins, real happy feet. taken by a spy camera video of the regal 'em porer penguins in
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antarctica. their rich watches were caught on tape by these, those are robotic penguins. that one but a powerful working flipper and a camera inside. the robots were sent in to infiltrate the ranks of the real penguins without scaring them. and now, this just in from our abc news family to you. we are proud to announce that the network we're launching with our colleagues at univision has a name. it will be called fusion. a meeting place for english-speaking latinos bringing together different cultures, voices and viewpoints. fusion launches later this year. we hope you'll stay tuned. and, coming up, did you see what happened at the white house today? it has everyone talking. the newest medal of honor recipient and the little star in a suit and tie who stole a precious moment. break a i used to love hearing that phrase...
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and finally tonight, a ceremony at the white house today reminding us all about valor. the medal of honor, given to a staff sergeant who saved so many lives fighting the taliban. abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl was there. >> reporter: for clint romesha, a high honor and a heavy burden, for an american hero, leader of a band of heroes through one of the most intense battles of the entire war in afghanistan. >> clint, this is our nation's highest military decoration. it reflects the gratitude of our entire country. >> reporter: this video was shot by the taliban on the day that army staff sergeant romesha
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helped stop their attack. more than 300 enemy fighters against his unit of just 53 men defending an outpost the president today called tactically indefensible. >> these men were outnumbered, outgunned and almost overrun. >> reporter: he's credited for retaking the outpost and saving many of his brothers in arms. but more than 20, including romesha, were seriously hurt and eight were killed. their families were here, and romesha spoke to us about them just before today's ceremony. in doubt your fallen comrades are going to be in that room with you. >> they'll be there. i just know it. >> reporter: many of his fellow soldiers were here today. romesha told us the medal belongs to them, too. a somber occasion to be sure. though romesha's son colin near little stole the show before it started. you're out of the military. what are your dreams, aspirations, hopes now? >> to be that dad and father, that husband, that really missed out on the 11 years i was in,
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you know? and to watch them grow up and be successful. >> reporter: jonathan karl, abc news, the white house. >> and by the way, the president said little colin was in the oval office before the ceremony, raced around sampling apples before he found one that was just right. and we thank you for watching, as we salute all of the troops overseas. we're always working for you at "nightline" later at its new time, 12:35 a.m. eastern. and we'll see you back here again tomorrow night. good night.
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on "the list,"

ABC World News With Diane Sawyer
ABC February 11, 2013 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

News/Business. Diane Sawyer. (2013) New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Diane 5, Benedict 3, Mulligan 3, Abc News 3, Mississippi 3, Vatican 3, John Paul Ii 2, Cecilia 2, Matt Gutman 2, Steve Osunsami 2, Mexico 2, John Paul 2, San Francisco 2, Hattiesburg 2, Rome 2, Alka Seltzer 2, Jonathan Karl 2, New York 2, Cardinal Timothy Dolan 2, Coricidin Hbp 2
Network ABC
Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 78 (549 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
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on 2/11/2013